Life and career
Nichols was informational counsel to the Kansas State Board of Agriculture, served as associate farm director of radio and television stations in Topeka, Kansas, and was agricultural representative of a bank in Hutchinson, Kansas. From 1969 until he resigned in 1990 after being elected to Congress, Nichols served as president and chairman of the board of Home State Bank in McPherson, Kansas.
He served as a member of the Kansas State Republican Executive Committee, was a delegate to the 1988 Republican National Convention, and was the Republican Party chair for the Fifth Congressional District from 1986 to 1990.
In July 1986, Nichols and his wife were stabbed by an insane man aboard the Staten Island Ferry while a touring New York City. He fully recovered from his wounds and was visited by Mayor Ed Koch in the hospital.
Nichols was elected as a Republican to the One Hundred Second Congress (January 3, 1991 – January 3, 1993), representing Kansas’s 5th congressional district. He narrowly beat future FDIC Chairwoman Sheila Bair in a 6-way Republican primary. In the reapportionment following the 1990 Census, the size of Kansas’ congressional delegation was reduced from 5 to 4, eliminating the 5th district. In 1992, Rep. Nichols ran for the Republican nomination to challenge Dan Glickman in the 4th congressional district, but lost in the primary to state Senator Eric R. Yost, who lost to Glickman in the general election.
Nichols married Connie Weinbrenner in 1951, and together would have three children. Connie earned four degrees and was a professor at McPherson College before her death from cancer in 1994. Two years later, Nichols married his second wife, Linda.
- Finger, Stan (March 9, 2019). “Dick Nichols, Kansas’ last Fifth District congressman, ‘put service to others above self‘“. Wichita Eagle. Retrieved March 9, 2019.
- McFadden, Robert D. (July 8, 1986). “MAN WITH SWORD KILLS 2 AND WOUNDS 9 ON S.I. FERRY”. New York Times.
- “Nichols first speaker in series”. McPherson Sentinel. October 24, 2011.
- “KS District 5 – R Primary – August 7, 1990”. Our Campaigns. Retrieved March 9, 2019.
- “KS District 4 – R Primary – August 4, 1992”. Our Campaigns. Retrieved March 9, 2019.
- “Richard D. Nichols”. Salina Journal. Retrieved 9 March 2019.
- United States Congress. “Dick Nichols (id: N000094)”. Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
- Appearances on C-SPAN
This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress website http://bioguide.congress.gov.